"My Brand!" Social Media 101: For Brands
This post comes from INK intern Hadley Million
So your brand is getting into social media.
You might say, “Oh, I know about social media. I got this in the bag.”
In reality, crafting social media for brands can be a daunting task, taking time and effort to make sure you’re appropriately engaging audiences.
First things first, finding your brand’s voice is crucial. Positioning yourself as too straight-laced may not appeal to younger audiences, while keeping it too “real” might turn off your clients. In his article for PR Daily, Quinton O’Reilly suggests that being less formal “can give your brand personality, which helps your followers relate to you.” He then goes on to say that this can become dangerous depending on how far you push the line between informal and formal.
Controversy can help your brand seem more realistic and relatable to your audience. For instance, discussing a hot topic within your industry could be a controversy worth discussing. For INK, this controversy could be a discussion of the distinction between PR, marketing and advertising. When it comes to political or social controversy proceed with caution, these topics could result in a sticky situation between you and a dissenting follower or fan. This kind of controversy can ultimately cause offense rather than encourage a friendly debate. Looking at the newest installment of the Tomb Raider series Kat French asserts that a little controversy allows your brand to be more memorable, while the “safe” zone can cause your brand to seem forgettable and irrelevant.
Give and Take
While your brand’s social media efforts are about your brand, in order to receive a little (through engagement and new fans), you need to give a little. As Brian Larson puts it, being a “Me-Me-Me brand” only gets you so far. It’s great to post company and customer news; just remember to include posts that are relevant to your industry, content that includes implications for your audience, and try to engage with relevant people in your industry to increase your brand’s visibility.
Instead of asking what your audience gives you when it comes to reach, engagement and clicks, ask the question “What is our content giving to our audience?” On Social Media Explorer, Jason Falls gives an awesome example of a Dunkin’ Donuts post that included a picture of their own product asking, “Doesn’t this make you smile?” He then compares it to a Coca-Cola post in which they show a picture of their own product asking, “What makes you smile today?” While the differences are subtle, it’s easy to see which brand is doing the giving vs. taking.
Formal vs. informal swag, don’t be afraid of a little controversy, and give some to get some.